DUBAI// Bosses at a government-owned dairy have warned would-be employees not to fall for a fake job scam operating in India.
Staff at Al Ain Dairy have been handling calls from disappointed jobseekers who falsely believed they had secured work as drivers and helpers through fake recruitment agents.
Many of them have paid upwards of 45,000 rupees (Dh3,043) to agents who claimed to be working on behalf of the dairy for what they hoped would be jobs and work visas in the UAE.
"So many people have contacted us asking about recruitment," said Abdulla VC, a senior employee service officer at Al Ain Dairy's human resources department.
"We have not assigned anyone to hold interviews or recruit on our behalf. We are a government company and do not charge any money. Normally we recruit people from the UAE and not overseas."
Mohammed CK, who lives in Dubai, became aware of the scam after 12 friends and relatives in India paid between 35,000 and 45,000 rupees to an agent's bank account in exchange for a visa.
"When they initially told me that they were being interviewed on the phone for a job with the dairy, I was very happy. They are poor and the opportunity sounded great. When they emailed me the offer letter, I was suspicious since there was no telephone number, only a fax," he said.
When Mr Mohammed called Al Ain Dairy to verify his relatives' Dh2,600 salary offer, he was told it was a fake.
The letter also promised free accommodation, food and travel allowance.
"They have already deposited the money to the agent's bank account. The agent has now asked them to wait until December 14 when he will give them work visas," said Mr Mohammed.
"They are poor people who have pawned jewellery to raise this amount. I don't know what will happen now."
Mr Abdulla said around 10 people have called so far follow up on fake job offers.
"The agents have issued offers on fake letterheads with our logo. They have spelt the name in English but the Arabic name is incorrect."
Mr Abdulla said during a personal visit to Kerala last week he called the agency himself.
"They asked me to come with 45,000 rupees and some documents. They said they will issue the offer letter immediately. Obviously, they did not know I was an employee with the company."
Al Ain Dairy has now registered a complaint with the Kerala Police and made announcements in Malayalam newspapers to inform people of the scam.
"Educated people will know this is not a genuine company," said Mr Abdulla. "We are not responsible if anyone pays money for jobs or to fraudulent people. But we have to inform the public that this is not us."
When contacted by The National, an agent maintained he could secure jobs for different positions with Al Ain Dairy for 35,000 rupees.
"We are the authorised agents for Al Ain Dairy and do recruitment for them," said the man, who identified himself as Aslam. "Send me your CV and I'll try to get you a visa."